Cold Roasted Leg of Lamb with Cilantro-Jalapeño Yogurt

Cold slices of lamb are a fail-safe dinner party main. A tangy yogurt sauce laced with lime and cilantro takes it to the next level.

Cold Roasted Leg of Lamb with Cilantro Jalapeno Yogurt
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 55 mins
8 to 10


  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • 1 (3 3/4-pound) well-trimmed boneless leg of lamb (about 4 1/2 pounds before trimming)

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 3 seeded chopped jalapeños

  • 1 scallion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 4 anchovy fillets (1/4 ounce)

  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

  • Pita bread, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place garlic, shallot, oil, cumin seeds, 11/2 tablespoons kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a mini food processor; process until mostly smooth, about 30 seconds. Rub spice paste all over lamb. Tie with kitchen twine, securing at 1-inch intervals to form a neat roast. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Roast lamb in preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 135°F, 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Transfer lamb to a platter, and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

  3. Meanwhile, place yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeños, scallion, anchovies, remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor; process until smooth, about 45 seconds.

  4. Remove kitchen twine from lamb; discard twine. Cut lamb into thin slices, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with sauce and pita bread.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, complex Côtes du Rhône.

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